Marlborough to be ‘fully planted in 5 to 10 years’, says NZ wine chief

news  %tages Marlborough to be fully planted in 5 to 10 years, says NZ wine chief

Higher consumer demand for New Zealand wines has continued to place pressure on land space and some producers believe Marlborough will be fully planted in as small as five years.

Winemakers and grape growers are running out of space in Marlborough, well-known for Sauvignon Blanc and which constitutes around three quarters of New Zealand’s wine production.Vineyard prices in the province were last year rising at more than 10% year-on-year, according to estate agency Knight Frank. Demand for vineyard space is being fuelled by rising exports of New Zealand wine, which hit NZ$1.3bn annually last year and could rise to $1.5bn in 2015 buoyed by a confirmation 2014 harvest, according to trade body New Zealand Winegrowers (NZWG). ‘In five to 10 years, Marlborough will be fully planted,’ said Philip Gregan, chief executive of NZWG. ‘It’s something we are going to have to live with,’ he told at a tasting in London.‘We reckon it will be sooner than that,’ said Simon Kelly, head of European sales for Yealands, which announced previous to Christmas that was seeking outside funding to buy more land. ‘There’s not a lot of suitable land left in Marlborough. People are planting on the borders [of the province], but they’re places where they risk getting frost problems.’Marlborough had around 23,200 hectares of vineyard in 2013. Pernod Ricard’s chief winemaker for Brancott Estate, Patrick Materman, earlier estimated the province could accommodate a maximum 26,000ha.Marlborough is the not the only province set to get more vineyards, according to Gregan. He said there are set to be ‘significant’ plantings in Hawke’s Bay in the next few years. Hawke’s Bay, which had 5,100ha planted in 2013, saw the second highest vineyard estate fee rises in the world on the Knight Frank index, which tracked year-on-year prices up to June 2014. Prices were up by nearly 18% on average.Gregan said that the US on course to become New Zealand's largest export market in 2015, ahead of nearby Australia and the UK. Related Make pleased:Yealands seeks funds to buy more NZ vineyards Export demand sparks rush on Marlborough plantings, says Brancott winemaker

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